Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Easy focaccia

This easy, flavorful focaccia from Anne Burrell is perfectly crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. You'll want to make a meal out of this!
You ever get those days when you're just craving bread or carbs? I had one of those days recently and wanted a thick, hearty bread without too much work. Focaccia came to mind so I set off to find a worthy recipe to try.

I found this one from Anne Burrell that seemed very simple. Her recipe made a huge batch so I was able to gift some to a friend. I sprinkled the top of my focaccia with sea salt and Italian seasonings (I did not have any fresh rosemary or I would have used that).

We served our focaccia with a comforting ravioli soup. Some of us dunked our focaccia in the soup and ate it that way. The next evening, I topped some focaccia with pasta sauce and mozzarella and made mini focaccia pizzas as appetizers.

The focaccia is perfect for a side dish, appetizer or as a main dish. Feel free to dress it up or down however you like and add whatever toppings floats your boat. Just save some for me, OK?

Focaccia
  • 1 and 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 and 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 package)
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon salt
  • 3/4 cup olive oil, divided
  • Sea salt, for sprinkling
  • Dried Italian seasonings (or fresh chopped rosemary), for sprinkling
Directions
In a measuring cup, sprinkle the sugar and yeast over the warm water. Allow to sit until it becomes frothy, about 5-10 minutes.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment or in a large bowl if kneading by hand, whisk together the flour and salt on low speed. Add the yeast mixture and 1/2 cup of the olive oil. Keep kneading until the dough comes together and is soft and pliable. It should not stick to the bowl - add more flour if needed.

Place the dough into a well oiled bowl, cover, and allow to double (about 1 hour).

Add the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil to the bottom of a standard jelly pan (if you don't have a jelly pan, use two brownie pans - the pans will need to have high sides). Place the dough onto the oiled pan and gently stretch it out to all four corners of the pan. Then using your fingers, make deep indentations all the way into the dough (this gives it a nice dimpled look for the finished focaccia). Allow the dough to rise another hour.

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F. Drizzle the top of the focaccia with additional olive oil and sea salt. Bake in your preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until the top is golden. Allow the focaccia to cool before cutting and serving.

Leftover focaccia should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature and can be reheated in the oven. It can also be frozen and thawed.

Yield: One jelly pan's worth (depending on how big you cut the pieces, can range from 8-24 servings or more)

Source: Barely adapted from Anne Burrell, via The Food Network

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